2008-08-28 - If You Could Have Anything
Luke 11:1 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." (NASB)
Have you ever imagined what it must have been like to walk the dusty roads with Jesus? Many of us probably have. It is unimaginable to consider having the Lord look at you and say, "Come, follow me.", as He did with His disciples. The twelve men Jesus did call asked many things of Jesus we know of, and probably many other things that didn't make it into print. Some of these requests were great questions, and others were a little on the selfish side. They were people too, just like you and me - mortal, fallible and very human.
Of all the questions and requests we do have recorded, this one stands out to me. Teach us to pray.
Jesus was asked to save the men from the storm that was pounding their boat as Jesus slept. Two of the disciples asked for the seats on Jesus' right and left in eternity. But this one speaks volumes. These men from every walk of life had followed Jesus for some time now. They had seen miracles beyond human comprehension: large jugs of water turned to excellent wine, 5000 men and more fed from a young boys lunch, the storm on the sea calmed instantly by a word of command. They had been given a glimpse into the unending power that Jesus held. Is it possible they had seen the epicenter of that power in Jesus' time in prayer with the Father?
I have been challenged in my heart to pray more. The challenge is not to pray better with more thee's and thou's. It is to pray first, instead of waiting until the small thing that has walked into my life or the lives of my friends and family becomes a not so small thing. I have this very human tendency to use the talents I have been given to solve my problems, even to the point of applying them like a hammer to pound my way through a problem. There are times when that may be what God wants. But I have come to realize that, even if that is the way the problem will be solved, prayer is not nearly as secondary as I may have considered it to be.
The world around us is a tumultuous place that would suck us in like a passing tornado if we let it. There are storms not unlike the one the disciples went through with Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat as they struggled against the wind and the rain. The disciples had to go through that storm. They had the choice of going through it in their own strength and knowledge, using their years of experience on that body of water, or asking Jesus what to do before the storm became the monster that it did become.
We've all done the same thing, pushed through confident that we knew how to handle something. Pray first, and be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I'm not saying there will be no more storms. I can almost assure you there will be more, and possibly greater storms. Whose strength would you prefer to go through those storms using?
The disciples could have asked Jesus for anything, and they asked him, "Teach us to pray."
Grace & Peace,